I’m trying a new approach to New Year’s resolutions this year. Instead of worrying about everything I’d like to change about myself, I’m going to focus on what I’d like to change about everyone else. In other words, this year I’m making New Year’s resolutions for other people. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. It’s a lot more fun than the old way and I’m sure it will be every bit as effective.
For starters, I hereby resolve that hackers and identity thieves will use their considerable talents to contribute to society by pursuing legal employment. And if they don’t, I resolve that law enforcement officials will track them down and put them behind bars where they’ll be forced to listen to robo calls all day, every day for the rest of their sorry lives.
And I resolve that spammers will stop spamming, scammers will stop scamming and litterers will stop littering. And I resolve that those who spit their gum on the sidewalk will be the ones who step on it later.
I resolve that TV viewers will begin questioning everything that comes out of the mouths of over-paid political pundits, and if they have any questions about who and what they should really believe, they’ll call me and I’ll tell them.
Likewise, I resolve that social media users will stop believing everything they read on Facebook and Twitter, and that they’ll refrain from sharing political rants and mean-spirited memes — unless I agree with them.
And speaking of politics, I resolve that all eligible voters will vote in the next election. Or at least, all eligible voters who see things my way will vote in the next election.
I hereby resolve that shoppers will no longer pick up items in one aisle, change their minds and leave said items in another aisle. I sympathize. I change my mind occasionally too. In fact, the last time I went shopping, I picked up a bag of sour cream and onion potato chips in aisle five and was overcome with guilt by the time I reached the produce department. But I got over it.
I resolve that as of January 1, other customers will cease unloading more items than are allowed in the express line, and that they’ll refrain from pointing it out if I do.
And I resolve that shoppers will return their carts to the proper spot after they finish unloading their groceries instead of leaving them in the middle of the parking lot where I can back into them.
I resolve that other drivers will stop parking so close to the line in the parking lot that they can’t help dinging my door when they get out of their car. And I resolve they’ll find another parking place if it’s me who parked too close to the line.
And finally, I resolve that no one will ever again text and drive, drink and drive or get in my way when I drive. And that nobody will call me or come knocking at my door while I’m eating or sleeping, which I realize is a wide target. And that anyone who speaks on their cellphone within earshot of me will have the courtesy to make it an interesting conversation.
So, there you have it: My new approach to making New Year’s Resolutions. I think it will catch on. Soon everyone will be making resolutions for other people, and not just for strangers, but also for close friends and family. There are so many possibilities.
“I resolve that you’ll stop interrupting.”
“Yeah? Well, I resolve that you’ll stop talking when I’m trying to interrupt.”
“I resolve that you’ll quit telling me how to drive.”
“And I resolve that you’ll learn to drive better.”
“I resolve that you’ll go back to making New Year’s resolutions the old way.”
“Well, I resolve that you’ll learn to appreciate constructive criticism.”
Dorothy Rosby is the author of three books of humorous essays including Alexa’s a Spy and Other Things to Be Ticked off About, Humorous Essays on the Hassles of Our Time. Contact [email protected]